3D copyright firm gets $4m funding

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Rights management for 3D content could soon become more stringent

New York-based start-up, Source3, is developing a platform for licensing and distributing 3D content. It has just announced its first investors, including Autodesk Inc.

Source3 is a firm set up by ex-Google music licensing innovators and ex-3D Systems 3D printing experts. While previously tracking rights managed music on the Internet, the new company focusses on managing and distributing 3D content online with a customisable rights management solution.

Previously, the team developed RightsFlow, a licensing technology for the music industry that was acquired by YouTube in 2011.
With the explosion of 3D printing and 3D scanning, it’s becoming increasingly easy to capture and digitse the geometry of products, Source3 is looking to provide a solution for security and monetisation for models through the web.

Samir Hanna, Vice President and General Manager, Consumer and 3D Printing at Autodesk commented on the investment, “The Spark Investment Fund advances 3D printing by uncovering innovative companies in all areas of the ecosystem. We’re excited to be part of Source3’s growth as their platform provides a unique and necessary approach to aggregating, licensing and distributing 3D content.”

Bob Greene, General Partner of Contour Venture Partners, the lead ventute capital investor, said, “The team has collectively realized more than $1B worth of licensed intellectual property during their careers. They have the experience and insight to make Source3 a huge success. We are thrilled to be investing in Source3 and to be joined by our investment syndicate partners.”


It will be interesting to see what Source3 develops and where it sees it’s core business. While many consumer 3D printers are used to mainly create landfill from short-lived web ‘content’, rights management is a serious issue for those that want to protect their designs. If consumption of 3D continues to increase, it would be great if a protected iconic design could be identified if it’s copied or illegally made available online. I suspect firms like Disney would be interested in this.

Perhaps, many years from now, we will all be buying, downloading and printing useful 3D things, in which case a rights management system would be useful, if the design market isn’t goingh to follow the music industry off the financial cliff.

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